I have been struggling with what to knit next after completing the Fearless Masterpiece Jacaranda. I thought I needed to find something even more fearless and exciting but that wasn’t what I needed at all. On Friday, November 1, I got a text from Viv, one my my Myrtle Beach knitting buddies, sharing a health issue with me. You know how helpless you feel when you are far away from a friend in need. You can’t run food over, you can’t run errands, you can’t share a glass of wine. That weekend was spent finishing Jacaranda and sharing Jacaranda on Knitting: A Love Story. As I worked, I had two things on my mind: 1) What fearless knitting would be next and 2) How could I comfort Viv? All of a sudden I realized it wasn’t fearless knitting that I was searching for. It was “Let Me Hug You” knitting for Viv and my quest went in a whole new direction. I had a Bachi Ball Shawl kit in the queue that seemed to fit all criteria. Here it is.
My sister Kathy led me in the direction of Bachi Ball Shawl from Yarn Scout. It was the first time I ever heard of Yarn Scout but it won’t be my last purchase.
“Using one ball each of Noro Bachi (and you thought I’d misspelled Bocce) and Kanzashi this oversized, asymmetrical triangle shawl works up quickly on US size 13 needles. Garter stitch ridges of boucle-like Kanzashi contrast with the smooth stockinette of Bachi creating both a color and textural feast for the senses, while wrapping you in pure warmth. Since the colors of Bachi and Kanzashi are consistent, each kit pairs the identical color of each yarn.” That told me all I needed to know. It sounded like a great big, colorful, warm hug to me. I started and my experience was amazing. Every stitch I thought abut Viv, I told jokes, I pictured a hug. Every color change I thought about Viv’s laugh and her funny way. Before I knew it, I had a completed shawl with thoughts, prayers, wishes, hugs and appeals knit right in. Tomorrow I will ship it to Viv. Well, here is my version of Bachi Ball Shawl.
Now last but certainly not least, Lydia modeling Bachi Ball Shawl.
OMG! WOW! I’d forgotten how great it feels to do “Thankful Knitting” for someone. I liked feeling that way again that I decided to do a little “Thankful Knitting” for my friend Kristin. Kristin just did a huge favor for me; she let me borrow her house! It’s a long story but suffice it to say, she was a life saver. Kristin is an artsy person. She always has the best earrings, scarves and things always complement each other. (Notice how I didn’t say match. I think match is boring and Kristin is definitely not boring.) I thought of a scarf I had on the needles in a tub in the Stash Studio. The hard part was going to be finding the tub. I FOUND IT! Here it is.
I am overwhelmed by thankful feelings. I am thankful that Viv is doing well, thankful that Kristin is my friend, thankful that I rediscovered “Thankful Knitting” and thankful that I have friends who let me wrap them in hugs.
I know it’s been a while since I’ve written but you can blame it on the Jacaranda. One thing I have learned about Fearless Knitting is it takes a very long time. I am often so busy knitting and learning that I don’t have as much to write about it. But when I write, it is about something spectacular. That’s what Jacaranda is. On August 11, I decided that this was what I wanted to knit.
I immediately fell in love. I knew this was my next fearless journey. I also thought I could start Jacaranda with a quick trip to the Stash Studio. I picked out what I thought was the perfect yarn. It was color, it was black, it was spectacular! WOW! I couldn’t wait to get started. But before I could get started, I had to make a slight alteration to the pattern. The pattern was written landscape instead of portrait so it looked kind of like this:
Row 1. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX. Row 2. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX. Row 3. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXXX. Row 4. XXXXXXXXXXXXXX. Row 5.XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Well, you get the idea. Impossible for me to work from. So, I rewrote the pattern in a more traditional way that was much easier for me.
Row 1. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Row 2. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Row 3. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
I thought I was ready to rumble. Then I found another snag. There was a piece of the pattern which absolutely didn’t work for me. I knit, frogged, knit, frogged, knit, frogged. Finally, I emailed Kieran Foley, the designer. She was an absolute angel. I explained I was stuck on CDD4 on row 5, she sent instructions and I was on my way. I love knitwear designers. They really want knitters to love their pattern and be successful. Well, I wasn’t exactly on my way. I tried 7 different yarns and colorways before I found the perfect one. The one I originally thought was perfect had black in it (of course) and the black hid the pattern. If the color change was too long, the pattern didn’t show. If the color change was too small, the pattern didn’t show. (Is this a 3 bears moment, or what?!?!?). Finally I found one that was just right. It was Trekking XXL a German yarn in colorway J1 383-7. Are you ready? On August 15 it looked like this.
I was excited! I just couldn’t wait to knit it all day every day. It was like finding that perfect book. For me it was the Poisonwood Bible or Where The Crawdads Sing. I just couldn’t stop reading. With Jacaranda, I just couldn’t stop knitting. This became this.
Which became this.
I love this so much and found ways to make it easier. I (of course) put a marker between each pattern repeat. I also counted between the markers at the end of every row. All of a sudden, I realized I wasn’t counting at the end of each row and I was doing fine. All of a sudden I realized, I was knitting Jacaranda while I was watching TV. I was becoming confident. That is what fearless knitting is all about. Tackling hard things and becoming confident.
I learned so much from Jacaranda. Not only did I learn new stitches (1-9 and CDD4 and CDD 2), I learned that the designers of today are mind-blowing. How do they think of these things!?!?!?! In the beginning, I was intimidated and flummoxed by Jacaranda. Gradually, I became more comfortable and then confident. I just got back from a quick trip to the Coastal Condo with 3 lady friends. On the way home, I KNIT JACARANDA IN THE CAR!!!!!! I didn’t think that would ever happen. I started out knitting in quiet, moved to knitting with the TV and finally knitting in the car. Amazing! I finished on our trip home. I was a little nervous because the pattern is 18 rows. You end on the 18th row with 4 rows of garter and a bind off. People would asked, “How long are you going to make it?” I would say, “When I run out of yarn, I am finished.” Well, this is how much yarn I had left after the bind off.
No yarn was wasted! I spent the afternoon steaming, the ultimate step to make any knitted piece look professional. This is what I got.
Isn’t it amazingly beautiful? I think it may be the most spectacular thing I’ve ever done. It was challenging and it became breathtaking. Does it get any better than that?!?!?! You know how I end every reveal. A visit to Lydia.
Two Weeks! Where have I been? Life has definitely collided with Knitting: A Love Story and life won. We have been home for a week but. . . The remainder of our time at the Coastal Cottage was spent fixing. We had our furniture cleaned, fireplace winterized, our Sunset Beach Toyota made whole, screens in our sunroom fixed and I got the Coastal Condo ready for the ladies’ visit at the end of October. With all of that, I didn’t get back to my story before we left. After we got home, well you don’t want to hear that sad story and I don’t want to sound like I’m whining. Let’s get on with the show!
Jane and I went to the sunroom (or as Linda calls it “Linda and Jan’s Knitting Room) after Miss Tess made herself known.
Tess loved Jane, of course! First, we had Show and Tell. I absolutely love seeing what other people have made. Jane has been knitting On The Spice Market by Melanie Berg. Knit ‘N Purl had a class in January or February and my Myrtle Beach knitting buddies were taking it. It’s a pattern I’ve had in the queue for quite a while but haven’t gotten around to knitting it. I even have the yarn.
The trick to On The Spice Market is picking the right colors. Jane hit it out of the ballpark with these colors. Purples and green! A woman after my own heart.
This is very lovely too but the first one just feeds that color thing of mine. Let me show you what I have in the queue for On The Spice Market.
This amazing yarn is from Miss Babs. I absolutely love her excursions in color.
This is Jane’s Yoko sweater. I love this pattern! I’ve had it for ages. In January, we were going through my patterns in iBook and Jane loved it. The pattern called for Silk Garden Lite and we both thought we found just the colorway for it. We both ended up not happy. Jane found this yarn at Knit ‘N Purl and it is stunning. Jane is finished with the knitting part and just needs to steam and sew together. I can’t wait to see it on her. After experimenting with several yarns, I finally found the perfect one for me.
I chose Silk Garden rather than Silk Garden Lite because IT HAD THE COLOR I WANTED! Now I am knitting with a new image in mind. It will be more like a fall pullover that you wear over tops on a chilly day. I left some elements out of the pattern that I wasn’t crazy about. Now I have my fingers crossed this all works. I think this is knabbling at it’s best.
Oh, by the way, this is Yoko. Isn’t it amazing. I love patterns with unexpected design elements. Knit designers just amaze me with their imagination! Oh, to be blessed with that skill set!
OMG! Isn’t this adorable!?!?!? Jane is making one for her and one for her husband to wear at Christmas.Jane’s husband is much more adventurous than Dick. I know I couldn’t get him to wear this even if I begged, cried, pleaded and threatened.
This is Murano Squares a mosaic pattern that Jane is also working on. She is a knitting dynamo! I am very interested in this. I have never seen this pattern before but it intrigues me. A color changing yarn and a mosaic pattern! Is that me or what?
For Show And Tell I shared Fan-tastic. I love it! And . . .
Jacaranda. There is a very long story behind Jacaranda which you will hear when it is done.
Last but not least is the mind numbing Cascade Vest made out of EF Kauni and black. It is my car knitting, my social knitting, my wine knitting and my Knit ‘N Purl knitting. It is my KNP knitting because I bought the yarn at KNP July of 2018 when Linda came to the Coastal Condo. It is all of the rest because absolutely no thought is required. As mind numbing as it is, it is going to be a stunning garment when finished (which will probably be in January.). Can’t wait to show you when I’m done. As you can tell Jane and I had a fabulous day. So many things in common. We love books, cooking, knitting and talking. Can’t wait to get back to the Coastal Condo for a longer dose of my Myrtle Beach Knitting Buddies.
We’ve been at the Coastal Condo since Thursday. Have I ever told you how much I love it here??? I bet I have. I was especially excited about this trip. In January, I made three new friends from visiting Knit ‘N Purl; Vivian, Jane and Linda. Vivian is in Ohio right now but Jane and Linda were coming to the Coastal Condo for an afternoon of social knitting and show and tell. We were so excited. Friday night Linda called saying she was experiencing vertigo and wouldn’t be able to come. DISAPPOINTED! Jane suggested we go to Wilmington for a trunk show at a LYS called The Noble Thread. I had never been to The Noble Thread so was pretty excited. So now our day started earlier and became lunch, LYS, social knitting and show and tell. I was up for that but sad that Linda wouldn’t be coming. Jane picked me up at about 10:30 and off we went.
We arrived in the historic Wilmington, ate lunch then found one of the most adorable LYS I’ve ever been in.
A yard bombed bike! How cute is that!?!?! It gave me an idea for next year’s I-75 Yarn Crawl at Ann’s By Design. I just took a minute outside to get the feel of the shop. Small with a friendly environment, knitters knitting and amazing looking fiber. What are we waiting for! Let’s get inside.
OMG!!! Look at that Doodler! I always wanted to knit that and I think it might be called fearless. I don’t know what the lower wrap is but it looks challenging and, well, fearless. I should have asked what it was.
Just display after display of gorgeous yarn. Once again, I feel like I’ve died and gone to heaven. That is a common feeling I get in a LYS.
See what I mean? Dazzling beauty everywhere you look. It was about here I had a deja vu experience. I’d never been in The Noble Thread. Why did I feel I’d been here before? All of a sudden I got it. I felt like I was in Portland. The dying techniques were amazingly like those of the local dyers in Washington and Oregon. Then I saw it.
Knitted Wit! No wonder I felt like I was on the Jan and Linda Yarn Crawl! I told the amazingly helpful person working about PDX Carpet from Knitted Wit and she wants to carry it.
This area was filled with newly released yarn. I was afraid I would get the skeins wet from drooling. I bought some, but not all I wanted. Now let’s take a look at the damage.
This is Jane’s purchase from Makers Haven, the North Carolina hand dyed company who was having the trunk show. Her works is amazingly like the hand dyed yarn I saw in Portland. The colors were stunning.
This is my Makers Haven purchase and I know exactly what I want to do with it.
Celestarium is a wrap knitted in the round with the center beginning being the North Star. The constellations are displayed in beads. I haven’t had many opportunities to knit with beads so that is pretty exciting. The yarn is Midnight 8 and is shades of dark blue with a sparkley twist of silver. I think it is perfect.
I fell in love with the new Berroco Sesame. The colors are so beautiful, it was hard to pick one out. But I chose this subtle Roy G Biv.
Isn’t it beautiful?!?!? The thread that’s twisted around has a glow to it. In the sun, it is glorious. I have no idea what I’ll do with it but I have 5 balls so I can pretty much do anything I want. One of my favorite steps in the knitting process is matching the perfect yarn to the perfect pattern.
I purchased this Kauni to make a Parallax scarf, one of the goals of My Year of Fearless Knitting. I love the pattern but just haven’t found the perfect yarn. I never make do. I will wait until the perfect yarn comes along. This may not be perfect.
Remember Parallax? Jane and I had a fabulous time on our yarn tour. It was so good to see her. We went back to the Coastal Condo for social knitting and show and tell. That will need to be in part 2 since Dick and I are meeting friends for dinner in a little over 2 hours. Wait until you see the show and tell. You will be wowed.
I have learned one very important thing during My Year of Fearless Knitting. (Well, really two things). Fearless knitting is a huge commitment and it takes lots of time. But the second thing I learned is that I love it! Fearless knitting keeps my juices flowing. It keeps me excited and engaged. I just finished another fearless project. Here it is.
Do you remember this?
And this? Well, it became this.
Isn’t it beautiful?!?!?!?! This is Fan-Tastic a Kulabra Design by Natalia Moreva. I discovered the design at Earthfaire and the pattern on the Kulabra Design website. I immediately started Fan-Tastic. It was a challenge but that is what My Year Of Fearless Knitting is all about. Challenge, excitement, learning, stretching. Kulabra Designs gave me all that. While I was there I fell in love with many patterns and since this year is all about being fearless, I bought them all. Let me share some of the fabulous designs. You really better sit down if you’re not already. These are going to knock you off your feet.
This is definitely one of my next fearless projects as soon as I find the perfect yarn. With a design this fabulous, I am not going to “make do.” The yarn must sing to me.
I absolutely love this. Once again, the yarn must serve this amazing design.
The last two are Star and Sail. Not only are they magnificent, the customer service at Kulabra Designs is over the top. For some reason, iBooks lost about 8 months of my patterns. I always save patterns to iBooks. That way if I am some where with no WiFi, I still can access my patterns. Well, I was in a panic. How was I going to get all of my fearless Kulabra Designs patterns?!?!?! I emailed Kulabra Designs and told them my sad story. The next morning I had several emails waiting for me with my lost patterns. Not only is Natalia an amazing designer, she is a thoughtful, kind person. I will always be a loyal, adoring customer. I am a grateful knitter to have been reunited with my patterns. I am also grateful to have discovered a treasure trove of fearless patterns. I encourage you to visit Kulabra Designs and be prepared to be amazed.
This is the place. It is the community, the family where everybody knows your name. August 2 to August 16 were two wonderous weeks at Ann’s By Design. They were two weeks that put Ann’s By Design on the map. It all started out with the I-75 Yarn Crawl. This was Ann’s second year to participate. The target for the Crawl is for Ann’s By Design to have something which can’t be found anywhere else. In come the Magic Balls.
If you remember from past Knitting: A Love Story posts, Magic Balls make Survivor Shawls. Survivor Shawls were invented by me to honor my beloved Annabelle and her triumph over breast cancer.
Isn’t she beautiful!?!? My buddies Thea and Linda worked on cutting yarn for Magic Balls for the better part of May, June and July. Then I started taking the 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 yard pieces and making them into 460-500 yard Magic Balls. I made 40 this year. Last year I made 50 and 20 more for Breast Cancer Survivor week. Then we made up a cowl kit which nobody else sold.
We kitted The Dissent Cowl, the tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsberg and her Dissent Collar. People loved it. What I think I learned is that people love projects with stories behind them. They loved the story of the Survivor Shawl and they loved the story of the Dissent Cowl and so they bought and bought,. You all know I have a million stories. I’m trying to come up with my next story for Ann’s By Design’s next kit.
The I-75 Yarn Crawl started on Friday, August 2 and Ann texted saying we sold several of the Dissent Cowl kits. I decided to go in Saturday and make more. While I was working on the kits, I heard the front door open and voices. Then I heard foot steps coming to the back of the shop where I was working. A man said, “You probably don’t remember me but I’m from Dayton and my wife and I came last year.” (I did remember him.) “I bought one of your Magic Balls, made a Survivor Shawl and gave it to a survivor. She said it was the most beautiful thing she’d ever seen.” Well, I will admit that I did get a little teary right them. “It felt so good that I want to buy 4 Magic Balls and feel that way again.” We hugged, I thanked him and he thanked me. WOW! What a feeling. I was overcome by his kindness in sharing his story with me. I’ve got to kick myself in the pants and get busy to make some more Magic Balls for Breast Cancer Survivor’s Month. At one time I had 13 tubs of pink yarn and now I am down to one really big tub. I think if I walked around the Stash Studio I could find maybe a small tub of pink yarn hiding on the floor. It makes me sad that when the pink yarn is gone, Survivor Shawls will be no more. But as they say, “It was a hell of a ride!”
On August 16, Jocelyn Brown columnist for the New Detroit News and writer of the column Handmade featured Ann’s By Design in her column. I love Jocelyn Brown, read her every week, visit the LYS she writes about and have even appeared a couple of times in Handmade. Jocelyn is the thread that ties together readers of the Homestyle section of the Detroit News and Free Press who love making handmade items. She has a loyal devoted following. I told Ann to be ready for customers who have read the column. Saturday, August 17, two groups from the Detroit area traveled to Adrian because they read about Ann’s By Design in Handmade. This is only the beginning! So you see, those were two fabulous weeks at Ann’s By Design. Oh, by the way, if you don’t live in Michigan Ann’s By Design has an online shop. Come see us!
We’re in the homestretch. Four more shops. Here we go!
Here it is, Northwest Wools, a darling, tiny store just chocked full of amazing yarn and knitted samples. There wasn’t an empty space. As I walked around the store, I felt like a child at the end of a birthday party. I wanted more yarn (cake) but even I knew that wasn’t a good idea. Just like the birthday party child was stuffed with cake and ice cream and candy, I was stuffed with yarn.
It’s not that there wasn’t beautiful fibers, it was just that I was over loaded. NorthWest Wool has yummy yarn that look like they belong in a shop named NorthWest Wool. Warm wools, tantalizing tweeds, winter worsted. Everything looked like a shop getting ready for a long winter’s nap.
In all fairness, Linda and I need to go back here next time and put it first on our list. We left Northwest Wools and went on to Close Knit. Isn’t that a great name for a yarn shop. I always thought if I had my own shop it would be called In Stitches. Linda even bought a bag for me many years ago monogrammed with In Stitches. I couldn’t get my enthusiasm up to buy anything at Close Knit either. It was with a heavy heart and a light wallet that we decided it was time to go home. We didn’t visit Fiber Rhythm or Starlight. We’re saving them for next time.
These are the shops we did and didn’t go to. It was a great two days but I definitely had fiber exhaustion. You may be wondering about the buttons you get when you visit a LYS on the Rose City Yarn Crawl. Linda gave me all of the buttons, even the ones we didn’t visit so I could have a complete set. Is she a great friend or what?!?! We settled in for dinner with Linda’s son Joe who I adore. Dick was Joe’s golf coach in high school. When Joe married Jenny (Joe is an avid Detroit Lions fan and Jenny an avid Green Bay Packers fan) we gave them tickets to the Lions/Packers game on Thanksgiving Day. Joe said it was the best wedding gift ever. Linda and I ended our day with some knitting just like we end all days. Wait until you see what I accomplished!
Remember this before I left? The fabulous Issey scarf my favorite travel knitting. After waiting in the airport, knitting on the flight to Portland and knitting with Linda, it became this.
Pretty impressive even if I do say so myself. Issey will be my travel knitting when we go to the Coastal Condo in September. I’ll tell you all about it then.
Saturday, my last day with Linda and Denny, we went to Mt Hood. There it is in the distance. This marvelous day of memories, gave me many peeks at, well, peaks! I saw Mt Jefferson, The Three Sisters and far in the distance the very tippy top of the big guy, Mt Rainier. We went to the lodge where one of the scariest movies of all time, The Shining, was filmed. As I looked at the doors to the rooms all I could think of was, “Here’s Johnny!”, the famous Jack Nicholson line. You may think my yarn shopping was over but you would be wrong.
Our last stop on our unforgettable fiber crawl was Knot Another Hat in Hood River. Tremendous little town and fabulous fiber store.
I loved this quaint little shop just overflowing with personal attention and amazing yarn. Realizing this would be nostalgically my last hurrah at a yarn shop in the Pacific Northwest, I felt it was my duty to make a purchase.
I didn’t buy this but loved it. It is one of the Wonderland Yarns gradient sets. I took a picture so I would remember it for future purchase. I did buy a little something.
Once again horrible photograph, sorry about that, but the yarn is amazing. It is Pam Wilkins’ Fine Hand Spun Yarn in merino and bamboo in colorway Sunrise. I could not resist this because this is a local company and I never will have the chance to purchase Pam Wilkins until I go back to Linda’s again. It is a huge skein of 760 yards.
This is also a local fiber company Havirland Pax Sock in The Final Girls. I loved the colors. Linda thought it looked like Halloween. I just couldn’t resist. We explored Hood River a little more and then went home for my last night in the gorge. It was an over the top trip with fun and surprises at every turn.
Here I am back at PDX, taking the parting picture of my feet on the famous carpet. It was a fabulous trip. If you ever get to Portland in March, I courage you, no I dare you, to take the Rose City Yarn Crawl. It won’t be as much fun as my private crawl because you won’t be with Linda but it will be an amazing experience. Kathy fell in love with the Forest Grove kit and bought one online from The Knotty Lamb. You could do that, too. Writing this has reminded me of how much I brought home. I left my clothes and had a suitcase packed full of yarn. Going through TSA, I was pulled out of line to have my suitcase opened (and searched). When the young man got it open he said, “So that’s what it is.” I guess my abundance of yarn confused the x-ray machine. Well, the yarn and Jan got home safely. Can’t wait for the next Linda and Jan Yarn Crawl.
EEEEKKKK! I made a mistake in Let The Crawl Begin! I may have been just a bit overwhelmed. Facing exposure to 10 LYS I’d never heard of plus Cedar River Alpaca Farm plus the fabulous Knot Another Hat. I got mixed up in reporting on For Yarn’s Sake. The glorious yarn I said I bought at For Yarn’s Sake, I really bought at Twisted. Suffice it to say, I loved Twisted and would go there any and every time I visit Linda. That’s what happens when you don’t take pictures of every shop to refresh your memory. I apologize to Twisted and For Yarn’s Sake. Let’s get on with the excitement of Linda and Jan’s Yarn Crawl!
Day 2 started with us leaving very early. We hopped into Linda’s Subaru, crossed the Bridge of the Gods and headed to our first LYS. We left Portland and headed to the country. We saw fields of clover and boxes of bees. Finally, we entered Forest Grove.
Our first stop of the day was the Knotty Lamb and it swept me off my feet. We got there a little early so we decided to window peep. All of a sudden the door opened and a voice said, “Do you want to come in?” I was not prepared for the wonderland of yarn, the funhouse of fiber that greeted me.
Everywhere I looked there was a yarn company I’d never heard of and a knitted sample that made it come alive. You know, I am a sucker for a knitting sample. I wanted to do a walk through and get the lay of the land before I started to buy but I found myself grabbing up skeins of amazing yarn like a chef might grab up vegetables at a farmers' market. I became Alice and this was my wonderland.
This was my first grab. Forest Grove is an amazing wrap pattern designed for the Knotty Lamb for the Rose City Yarn Crawl. The yarn is gorgeous and the pattern intriguing. Does it get any better than that?1?1?1. The yarn is Barnyard Knits Hand Dyed in merino and nylon. It’s the perfect sock yarn combination but who would want to hide this beautiful fiber in a shoe or boot?!?! The colors are Old Tin Roof, Faded Farmhouse, Rosebud and Tourmaline. The wrap starts with a circular pattern then sweeps out to each side. When I got home and emailed my sister Kathy the picture, she immediately called the Knotty Lamb and now she has her own.
I looked behind the counter and there it was! Somebody had grouped these three beautiful Magpie yarns together. The fiber is merino, cashmere and nylon and who really can refuse yarn with a little cashmere?!?! The colorways are Stormfront, Gobsmacked and Soirée. I don’t know what I’m going to create with these amazing colors but it will be beautiful.
Once again, my photography doesn’t do the color of this glorious fiber justice. I saw this amazing Cedar House Yarn and immediately fell in love but I didn’t pick it up. After all it wasn’t vibrant colors (which I seemed to be favoring) and I didn’t have a clue what I would do with it. It is Sapling Sock and the colorway is Painted Hills.
Ok, this Concentric is 100% Baby Alpaca, need I say more. The colorway is Pastel Pop. It’s an amazing 4 ply which starts in a taupe and changes one strand at a time until it is teal. I think it will become a mind blowing scarf using the right pattern which adds interest but doesn’t detract from the beauty of the fiber. When I look at this I just sigh in deep pleasure.
I must admit I did pick this up immediately when I saw it and never put it down. Fifty Shades of Gradient by The Fiber Studio was made for me. The tagline is “Yarn to dye for.” I swear, all these shops knew I was coming and stocked up on yarn they knew I couldn’t resist. In the mean time, I walked back to the Cedar House Yarns picked it up , put it down, picked it up and it finally ended up at the point of sale. OK! Do you think the Knotty Lamb did right by me? I think so. On our way out, Linda and I couldn’t resist. . .
A LYS with a place to take a souvenir picture or selfie! Is that cool or what! Linda gave the Knotty Lamb pin to me, we took a picture of the Knotty Lamb and we were on our way to the next stop. WHICH REALLY WAS FOR YARN’S SAKE. How could I forget?!?!?! I think I got the yarn which hit it out of the park here.
Here we are in Beaverton in For Yarn’s Sake. I must admit, even though this was only our second LYS of the day, yarn fatigue was setting in. The Knotty Sheep had taken a lot out of me. See the glass case next to the point of sale? Denny spoke in awe of that case. In that small little case he says he saw a $300 skein of yarn. That might explain why it was locked. I thought I needed to take the dare and buy that amazing skein of yarn whatever it was, but it wasn’t there. Saved!!!!!! But Linda grabbed me my the arm to show me two fabulous finds. Maybe the finds of the whole yarn crawl.
This is Alpha B Yarns Sexy B. Linda says it is only sold in For Yarn’s Sake. It is 70% Baby Alpaca, 20% Silk and 10% Cashmere. I have felt some yummy yarns in my travels but none yummier than this. The colorway is Esther’s Orchid. Every time I look at it I end up just nodding my head, sighing and petting the skein. Ok, now for the big reveal. Remember this?
Remember the infamous Portland Airport carpet?
Meet Knitted Wit Victory Sock yarn in PDX Carpet!!!!!!! Is this just the best, or what? People have asked me what I’m going to make out of it and I say “NOTHING!” This will remain exactly like it is. For Yarn’s Sake is the only place you can get PDX Carpet, too.
Even though we visited couple more LYS on day two, I need to stop here. I think all of the amazing pictures are overloading Weebly. Things are getting wonky and I don't want to loose this awesome piece of work. I will come back in a couple of days and finish up.
Thursday, July 18 was the first official day of the Linda and Jan Yarn Crawl. There were 10 LYS we would visit in 2 days to complete the Crawl. We started with a pedicure, Powell’s BookStore and lunch. After all, knitters cannot live by yarn alone.
This is how participants kept track of the LYS they visited. Each LYS had its own button. When you visited the shop, you got a button. When your flowers (roses) were filled with the buttons of each of the 10 LYS, you received the official Rose City Yarn Crawl button which opened the magic door to the official yarn crawl patterns. The first shop we went to was Pearl Fiber.
Pearl Fiber’s slogan may be “It’s not stash it’s a souvenir” but mine is “It’s not a stash, it’s a collection.” And boy, did I ever add to the collection on the Linda and Jan Yarn Crawl. Pearl Fiber is a sweet little shop just down the street from Powell’s the largest bookstore in the continental United States. It’s a city block long and wide and 5 stories high. It was amazing but I do have to say I was a little distracted thinking about all the the yarn we were going to see. My goal for each LYS was to purchase something I’d never seen before. So my first purchase was for Ann.
Ann collects sheep and I thought this would be a perfect addition to her collection. And, I had never seen anything like this. . .
It’s a shawl closure which has a magnet on the back so you never have to stick a point into your knitted fabric. After we left the store, Linda gave me the Pearl Fiber pin and we were on our way to the next LYS.
A LYS with the slogan “Color outside the lines” was made for me. Is it any wonder I bought lots at For Yarn’s Sake!?!?!? I must admit that I was so excited to see all of the beautiful fiber that I didn’t take pictures of the first couple of shops. Oh, well! Excitement kinds of makes me loose my concentration.
This is The Moon & Other Satellites by Larissa Brown and is one of the official Rose City Yarn Crawl patterns. “With its stunning reservoirs, wooded paths and lofty views, Mt. Tabor has long been a source of peace, inspiration, mystery and raw beauty to Portlanders. This design is inspired by watery reflections of the moon, stars and other lights that pass over in the night. Its expanding rings are like ripples in otherwise still water.” The yarn is Blue Moon Fiber Arts’ Socks That Rock in Red Dawn, Copperline, Blood Moon and Shadow. The colors are exquisite and the pattern amazing. I did buy one more thing.
This is Knitted Wit Victory Sock in Valentine’s Day. As soon as I saw it, I knew what it would become.
It will be my next Optical Delusion. As we were leaving For Yarn’s Sake, I realized that my heart was racing and my blood pressure may have been elevated. AND THIS WAS JUST THE BEGINNING! Linda gave me my pin for For Yarn's Sake and we were on our way. Two LYS but many treasures. On to the next Fabulous Funhouse of Fiber.
The next stop on our Crawl was Knitting Bee. What a fun shop!
I did start taking pictures at Knitting Bee. Look at the front desk made out of huge Granny Squares. Isn’t it adorable!?!?! Don’t you just love seeing a child in a LYS talking knitting!?!?!
Lots of activity, lots of talk. It made me want to sign up to volunteer. I think you can tell a lot about a shop if you close your eyes and listen to the conversation. When I did this at Knitting Bee, I heard joy. I decided to take a deep breath and not buy yarn at Knitting Bee unless I absolutely fell in love with it. But don’t despair, I did buy somethings.
Aren’t these sweet? Made specially for Knitting Bee. I got my pin and we were on our way to shop four which is really over the gorge in Washington.
Blizzard Yarn and Fiber is in Vancouver, Washington and is about to become Linda’s local yarn shop. Linda and Denny are moving from Stevenson to the Vancouver area but that’s another story. We walked into Blizzard and II was overcome by the joyous noise. The shop was full of knitters each singing their own song of knitting. It was amazing.
Gorgeous, hand dyed yarn everywhere I looked. One of the things I noticed about most LYS we visited was the prevalence of small, local fiber companies with hand dyed yarn. The colors are amazing. I could honestly tell myself, “If I don’t buy this I will never be able to buy this exact color again.
I saw these 7 balls of yarn sitting together on the top shelf of a yarn rack. Well, you know me!!!! If it's Roy G Biv, get out of my way or I'll run you over. It is Rowan Felted Tweed in in Mineral, Zinnia, Rage,Tawny, Iris, Watery and Lotus Le. I had to have it. You might think that concluded my purchases at Blizzard Yarn & Fiber but you would be wrong.
In all of my days of loving and stalking Madelinetosh, I have never seen this colorway. This is Madelintosh Merino Light in Magic and it truly is magic. I tried not to buy it because I can buy Madelinetosh at Spun in Ann Arbor. but when I got to the register there it was sticking to my hand!
My last purchase of the day! Now really who could leave Mad Tosh Merino Light +Halo Glitter in Rocky Mountain High, Colorade behind!?!?! Obviously not me. Once again my photography doesn't do it justice. As I write this, I can feel the fatigue I felt at the end of the Linda and Jan Yarn Crawl Day 1. I felt Fiber Fatigue. Just think about it. Don't you think that should become a phrase in the Knitter's Lexicon? Haven't you felt Fiber Fatigue? We drove back to Stevenson basking in the vista that is the Columbia Gorge. When we reached Linda's home, we sat down to drink wine, talk and well, knit! Day 1 exceeded my expectations. On to Day 2!
I am home! I must say it was perfect. I got to spend four days with Linda in beautiful Stevenson, Washington. Linda replicated the Rose City Yarn Crawl which was held in March for me. Let’s just say the Rose City Yarn Crawl +++++. Because of the extra places it is Linda and Jan’s Yarn Crawl. Now let’s start at the very beginning.
This is the famous carpet at PDX, the Portland airport. It is tradition (do not ask me why) to take a picture of your feet standing on the carpet and post them. The carpet is beautiful but I am still a little puzzled at the tradition. Now you must remember this carpet for something to come later.
Is there anything cuter than a baby Alpaca or a baby anything or an Alpaca? I am going to tell you the amazing story of Lucky the year old Alpaca. Lucky is the little brown guy. Last September when Lucky was just a couple of weeks old (and wasn’t named Lucky) something extraordinary happened. The alpacas were just getting ready for bed when the humans of Cedar Creek Alpaca Farm heard a very loud commotion in the pens. They were fortunate to have a camera in the pen and they viewed everything. A cougar entered the pen and grabbed this adorable 15 pound baby. The mother immediately jumped into action and did a pretty good job of clubbing the cougar until it let go of the baby and fled. The baby was rushed to the vet for stitches, antibiotics and lots of prayer. When it was obvious that the baby was going to survive, it became Lucky because it was very lucky.
This picture shows Lucky shortly after his attack looking very sporty in his pink neck bandage. Lucky made the national news, maybe you heard about it then. If you would like to see the video of the attack captured by cameras in the pen, just Google “Mama alpaca saves baby from cougar.” It is very fast, not more than 30 seconds but truly demonstrates a mother’s love. There is a tiny little shop that’s part of Cedar Creek Alpaca Farm. And I did make my first purchase of the Linda and Jan Yarn Crawl.
It was my assumption that all of the yarn sold would be alpaca. I was wrong. This is wool but it is beautiful and I love it. This is acquisition #1.
I must admit that I have so many pictures and fabulous purchases that I will split it into 4 posts. The next post starts the actual replication of the Rose City Yarn Crawl.
This blog is dedicated to Mary Helen Growt my first knitting teacher and the woman who changed my life. The mission of Knitting: A Love Story is to preserve, share and promote the love of knitting.